Christmas and New Year are always special times for children, with presents, parties and lots of excitement. And this year over twenty of our older Junior Church children also claimed the most amazing and long lasting gift they’ll ever come across – far beyond their tablets, games and Christmas clothes – the gift of salvation and the decision to start a personal relationship with God! Amazing!
Within Junior Church we work on the principle in Proverbs 22:6, which says: ‘Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.’ In Junior Church we teach Bible stories, biblical principles and talk about what life as a Christian involves, but each and every person has to make their own decision at some point as to whether they will embrace it and live it, or reject it and live without God guiding them. Many people wait until adulthood to make this decision, but we are so proud that our children have made this decision so young.
Some people will say that they are ‘only children’. True, but the Bible teaches us that ‘unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Matthew 18:3), and that ‘Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”‘ (Matthew 19:14).
These children know what they are doing. As 2 Timothy 3:15 says ‘You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.’ Many of them have grown up in Christian families where they have seen what living a Christian life entails, both the sacrifices and the blessings and they have made the decision for themselves that they want to be part of this life. Not only are they saved, but they have entered into a blessed life!
We hear many dramatic testimonies which prove God’s saving power and ability to rescue anyone – and that’s fantastic! – but our prayer is that the children who grow up in Harvest City Church won’t have testimonies of difficult times. Instead, we pray they will be able to declare that they knew God was with them from childhood; how they got through difficult times knowing God’s peace and strength supporting them; how they avoided the pitfalls their friends faced because they knew they were loved and accepted by God, and how they have lived good, blessed lives.
We encourage our children to take on board 1 Timothy 4:12, which reminds us, ‘Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.’
So please, bring your children to church, even right from birth! Let us help you to demonstrate and teach them about the beauty of the Christian life so they are able to make their own choices at an early age, too. And let’s encourage, support and take pride in what God is doing in the lives of our young people.
God bless you all in 2015.
Sarah (JC Co-ordinator)